April 27, 2012

A residence
for artists


Overlooking the Bay of Hyères in Southern France, Villa Noailles is bathed in Mediterranean sun. The villa was built by architect Robert Mallet-Stevens between 1923 and 1928 for art patrons Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, who wanted a house that would be “interesting to live in”. With its sleek, geometric lines, the radically modern building makes a powerful aesthetic statement.

The resolutely avant-garde residence counts over 40 rooms, a pool, a gym and a squash court. Outside are a pine grove and a Cubist garden designed by Gabriel Guévrékian. Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles invited numerous artists who were not yet well known to infuse their home with the soul of modern art.

They commissioned works by Salvador Dali, Piet Mondrian, Alberto Giacometti, Constantin Brancusi and Jacques Lipchitz, among others. The villa expanded as its reputation as a nexus of artistic experimentation grew.

The villa was listed as an historic monument in 1975. Following restoration work, it began hosting exhibitions in 1990. Faithful to the Noailles’ passion for art and artists, it has been equipped to welcome artists in residence, celebrating creative talents in architecture, design, fashion and photography.

Set for April 27-30, 2012, the 27th International Fashion and Photography Festival is a fitting tribute to the Noailles.

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